Why You Should Cut Paper Scrapbooking

by Christina Brown · 4 comments

in Frugal Living

I used to be addicted to paper scrapbooking.  I would joke with the owner of my favorite scrapbook store that I should have my paychecks automatically deposited there.

Flash forward to 3 years ago.  I lived 30 miles from everywhere and now had 3 boys under the age of 2. I desperately wanted to document the photos of stories of my children’s lives.  But I couldn’t afford my paper scrapbooking addiction anymore, and I no longer had the time to invest in my beloved hobby.

Many fantastic photo services were now offering the ability to create photo books, but they just didn’t have all of the custom design options I was used to using in paper scrapbooking.

That’s when a friend introduced me to digital scrapbooking.  It has not only saved me a ton of money.  I’ve saved time, too.

Here are the perks to using your computer to create scrapbook layouts:

You can find oodles of digital scrapbook supplies for free or really cheap.  Or if you’re really creative, you can create your own.

You can reuse your digital supplies.  Once you use a piece of scrapbook paper to create a layout, you’re done with it.  With digital papers, you can reuse them as many times as you would like. You can even play with the colors using photo editing software to completely change the look of paper or an embellishment.

I never run out of adhesive… because I don’t need it!

I don’t need any expensive tools to craft the look I want.  Just my computer.

I don’t spend money on printing out individual photos.  Since the digital photos are placed directly on my layout, I don’t have to spend the time uploading them and printing them.

Clean-up is a breeze.  All of my items are stored on my computer. If I’m interrupted during a scrapbook session, I can just close up my  laptop and come back to it later.  I also don’t have to worry about my kids getting into my paper stash or using my scissors on the dog.

There’s an “undo” option. When you scrapbook digitally, it is easy to fix mistakes or to completely change a layout. It is a lot of fun to play with design.  You can also do some amazing things with your computer that you can’t do in paper scrapping.

Sharing your scrapbooks is easy.  Design it once and print and share it as many times as you like.  When I did my twin sons’ baby books, I would create one design and then swap out the right baby’s photos for each book.  You can send scrapbook layouts via e-mail to a relative.

Digital scrapbooking costs less.  Even if you print your own pages (the most expensive option), you’ll spend about $2 to $3 a page.  When you add up all the costs of paper scrapbooking items, you can easily spend $7 to $10 a page.  Many photo services offer deep discounts on photo prints and photo books to help you save even more.  And at least twice a year, I seem to stumble across a free photo book offer.

Of course, there are a few costs associated with digital scrapbooking.  You’ll need a decent computer, some photo editing software (I recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements), and some time to learn how to create layouts.

Two Peas in a Bucket has the nitty gritty bare basics of what you need to start digital scrapbooking.

ScrapGirls has a fabulous free eBook you can download called 15 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Digital Scrapbooker.

I also highly recommend checking out Jessica Sprague’s Digital Scrapbook Quick Start which visually walks you through your very first layout.

You can create beautiful scrapbooks of memories on a budget.  All you need is a little bit of time and know-how.

Happy Scrapping!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ScrappyDigits March 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

Hi Christina,

Thanks for the shout-out for digital scrapbooking! And, you brought up some of the best reasons that I prefer digital scrapbooking to the traditional kind. For me, I love the versatility of digital scrapbooking because when you doing things digitally, you are only limited by your imagination. You can use whatever color scheme you want, instead of having to stick with the colors that you can find in available papers and embellishments. And, digital scrapbooking is a lot less messy and takes up a lot less room than the traditional kind because everything is on your computer- not in drawers or boxes in the corner. I live in a very small house, so that’s important for me.

With digital scrapbooking, it’s easy to share your albums and layouts because you can print your albums using your home photo printer (and get a second copy by just reprinting, without having to buy multiple copies of paper and embellishments) or you can send your digital albums off to be printed at any of the online photo services out there such as Snapfish, Shutterfly,Walgreens, Costco, etc. If you like, you can even have your digital albums printed into a bound coffee table book. Very cool. Or, you can send your layouts to friends and family through email or share your layouts online at one of the many online photo sharing services.

With digital scrapbooking, you can always work on copies, so you’re not ruining your favorite photo or that perfect paper it took you days to find. And, the undo button means that anything you do can be undone.

Like you, the software I use is Photoshop Elements. To be fair, there’s a bit of a learning curve with the program. But once you know the program, it has features that will allow you tons of flexibility and creativity. Also, since Photoshop Elements is probably the most popular software for digital scrapbookers, there are training videos and tutorials all over the web showing you how to use it.

So, what’s not to love about digital scrapbooking?

Thanks again!

-Mary
http://www.ScrappyDigits.com

Reply

2 Kari Knudson March 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

I’ve been really happy with Shutterfly for my ‘scrapbooking’. I don’t have the space, money, or patience for traditional scrapbooking. Last year, after a family vacation to Florida, I made our scrapbook in two hours the day after we arrived home. I know if I tried to do it the traditional way, I would still be working on it.

Reply

3 ScrappyDigits March 11, 2011 at 7:45 am

Hi Christina,

Thanks for the shout-out for digital scrapbooking! And, you brought up some of the best reasons that I prefer digital scrapbooking to the traditional kind. For me, I love the versatility of digital scrapbooking because when you doing things digitally, you are only limited by your imagination. You can use whatever color scheme you want, instead of having to stick with the colors that you can find in available papers and embellishments. And, digital scrapbooking is a lot less messy and takes up a lot less room than the traditional kind because everything is on your computer- not in drawers or boxes in the corner. I live in a very small house, so that’s important for me.

With digital scrapbooking, it’s easy to share your albums and layouts because you can print your albums using your home photo printer (and get a second copy by just reprinting, without having to buy multiple copies of paper and embellishments) or you can send your digital albums off to be printed at any of the online photo services out there such as Snapfish, Shutterfly,Walgreens, Costco, etc. If you like, you can even have your digital albums printed into a bound coffee table book. Very cool. Or, you can send your layouts to friends and family through email or share your layouts online at one of the many online photo sharing services.

With digital scrapbooking, you can always work on copies, so you’re not ruining your favorite photo or that perfect paper it took you days to find. And, the undo button means that anything you do can be undone.

Like you, the software I use is Photoshop Elements. To be fair, there’s a bit of a learning curve with the program. But once you know the program, it has features that will allow you tons of flexibility and creativity. Also, since Photoshop Elements is probably the most popular software for digital scrapbookers, there are training videos and tutorials all over the web showing you how to use it.

So, what’s not to love about digital scrapbooking?

Thanks again!

Mary

Reply

4 Peter April 13, 2011 at 3:36 am

This looks like an interesting project. I agree, digital scrapbooking is much more time efficient and I love the fact that you can make as many mistakes as you like without worrying about the cost…

Reply

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